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Supercharged BMW M3 by ESS Tuning

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Supercharged BMW M3 by ESS Tuning


With every generation BMW has managed to squeeze water from granite, approaching perfection by improving upon its core tenets of composed chassis and vehicle dynamics in spirited driving; the ultimate driving machine.

Cars built as homage to their factory racing efforts like BMW’s M Division are enhanced by addressing the tactile necessities of a racing machine. Steering where hand movements and car direction are one, brake feel to the point of brake “texture,” and instantaneous engine response.

To live up to this namesake the evolution of this current generation M3 further enhances every point of contact between car and driver in support of telepathic handling. Steering response is direct and perfectly weighted; a rarity among modern drive by wire automobiles. Brake feel seems connected to the nerves in your spine with appropriate (but not harsh) feedback. The E92 begins with a lightweight, aluminum alloy four-liter 32 valve V8 producing 414 horsepower screaming to an 8400 rpm redline. The 17% siliconized alloy engine is produced in the same Landshut foundry as their Formula 1 engines near Munich.

Race-car engine response and feedback demand a capable drivetrain. This particular Black Sapphire-Metallic M3 arrived at Cantech with quite possibly the best thing to happen in transmission technology since synchromesh gears. Its seven speed dual-clutch paddle shift transmission compensates rpm drop by revving the engine between lightning quick shifts well beyond the capability of a human. This amounts to a 0-60 time of 3.9 seconds, down from 4.1 and an unofficial quarter mile sprint at 12.4 seconds from 13.1 as recorded be Car and Driver. The exterior was tastefully appointed beyond factory with carbon fiber tailoring. A double sided 2×2 carbon fiber trunk lid and front splitter save weight, effectively redirect airflow and look fantastic.


For driving enthusiasts, perfection is elusive and varies in definition and execution when something beyond the factory expression is desired. Adding more power is a great start. In this case, a great deal more power. Our featured client approached us with a solution to evolve his already nicely equipped M3 closer to what could be called perfect without sacrificing its refined manners and lightning fast throttle response.

Enter the VT2 575 Supercharger for the BMW E92 M3, a bolt on forced induction system by BMW tuning powerhaus ESS Motorsports. According to ESS this comprehensive system is good for 575 horsepower with an exceptionally flat torque curve of 600Nm. The dynograph  at seven pounds of boost has been posted below in corrected wheel horsepower, courtesy of the vehicle owner and Jim Ford Dyno Service in Fulton, NY.   According to our technicians the increased power of the VT2 575 system in this setup along with the lightning quick seven speed amount to performance and acceleration gains within the realm of a V10 Audi R8 or 911 Turbo.

VT2 575 Supercharger

VT2 575 Supercharger system. No modification was necessary for hood clearance.

The Vortech based V3Si is a self contained compressor with helical gears for quiet operation. The installation was straightforward with excellent directions (available in pdf on the website) and required no modification to the hood or drive train. This system is backed by a two year, unlimited mileage warranty. Supercharging is an ideal solution for BMW’s due to its compact size, ease of installation and faster power production; producing torque and power gains earlier in the rpm range compared to an exhaust driven turbocharger. This is a comprehensive kit which includes a multi tiered reprogrammed engine management suite with eight larger BOSCH injectors. ESS fine tunes ignition timing with recalibrated VANOS (variable valve and lift timing) control for instantaneous engine response. This is possible because the BMW’s V8 uses a step motor instead of helical gearing to engage the camshaft.

An often overlooked detail among forced induction systems is the pressure control valve between the crank case and the intake tract. The ESS system includes an oil breather assembly designed for boost.

ESS was created in 1995 in the land of Vikings and insane car builds. Where else but Norway, where 800 horsepower is the new black. They would expand their capabilities to offer chip tuning services to many European makes by 2000. From those early years production grew from 30 supercharger systems to 1,000 by 2004 to become the largest producer of BMW superchargers. ESS would eventually lay siege to the shores of San Diego with a new sales and support center in ’05.

The most important aspect of the services and capabilities offered by ESS is the amount of engineering and testing that goes into every system from basic bolt ons to software and comprehensive supercharging kits. This ensures the daily manners and sharpened edges are never uncomfortable.

ESS employs computerized load dyno tests that simulate hard driving abuse beyond real life possibilities and every development car is tested beyond 50,000 miles. This includes track driving, extreme heat and cold testing as well as long range autobahn driving.


The Technicians at Cantech are all motorsports enthusiasts with the technical skill and wisdom needed to take on these projects. This kit was installed with no electronic problems or fitment issues over the span of two days and was ready to drive immediately thanks in part to the comprehensive engine management and the efficiency of our Technicians. Wheel and tire balancing for a Civic Si is right at home next to the transmission service of an F360 Ferrari or open wheel race car.  Always happy to recieve these fun projects, we are forever eager to take on the next motorsport enhancement.

K&N highflow air intake

The system incorporates a lightweight cast aluminum intake manifold with lengthened velocity stacks with integrated bypass valve, and a K&N highflow air intake pipe with Teflon coating.

K&N High flow Cone Filter with air-to-water intercooler.

coolant pump

The coolant pump for the air to water intercooler system increases the cooling system capacity and mounts in the front bumper housing opposite the K&N highflow cone filter, which takes advantage of the factory ducting.

HP gains